In 1988, an optimal antiplatelet regimen for secondary stroke prevention remained to be defined. We undertook a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial to investigate the safely and efficacy of low-dose acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), modified-release dipyridamole, and the two agents in combination. Patients with prior stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) were randomised to treatment with ASA alone (50 mg daily), modified-release dipyridamole alone (400 mg daily), the two agents in a combined formulation, or placebo. Primary endpoints were stroke, death, and stroke or death. TIA and other vascular events were secondary endpoints. Patients were followed on treatment for two years. We concluded that dipyridamole, in a modified-release form, at a dose of 200 mg b.d. and ASA 25 mg b.d., have been shown to be equally effective in the secondary prevention of ischaemic stroke and TIA; that when co-prescribed, the protective effects are additive, the combination being significantly more effective than each agent prescribed singly; and that low-dose ASA does not eliminate the propensity for induced bleeding.